Author's Note: This story is very very experimental for me, and it plays with Mark's characterquite a bit. It has drug use, death and cursing in it, so if any excessive use of thatbothers you, please leave now. However, if you chose to proceed and enjoy! Please leave reviews! I love gettingfeedback :0)
Disclaimer: Don't own it.
In Honor of Roger Davis
No, they didn't end up together in the end, not even a little bit. There was no blonde filmmaker clutching his hand as he drew his last breath. No Mark Cohen at Roger Davis' bedside. Not as lovers, not as roommates, not even as friends.
Across the country, in the hazy Los Angeles heat, Mark Cohen got a phone call, the shrill ring emitting from his inside jacket pocket. Blowing the cigarette smoke from his lungs and clipping the sunglasses to his tee-shirt, he answered.
"Mark Cohen?" Came an unfamiliar, polite voice. Mark, fashionable, money-hungry, producer Mark - the man that was only a ghost of his young, New York version of himself - put a finger up to excuse himself from the beautiful people around him and stepped away from the crowd.
"Speaking," He replied, taking another drag from his cigarette before crushing the butt on the gum-laden streets.
"This is Nurse Miller over at Mount Sinai Hospital," Clipped, sweet, a little sad, "We would just like to let you know that your friend," A pause, as a manila folder was checked, "Roger Davis? Died last evening as complications from PCP, as a result of having AIDS."
Mark, the detached, money-hungry man who was only a ghost of his young, naïve New York self waited for the pain. Waited to care.
But he didn't.
"Um," He said, struggling, feeling, begging, hoping, "Thanks. I guess."
"Mr. Davis left whatever he had to you." The nurse noted, and with a sigh, "Can you come get it?"
Mark couldn't imagine what Roger, the man he hadn't seen in nearly ten years, could have for him. Roger had only three things in his life when Mark had left New York angry.
Mimi, his guitar, and a whole lot of issues.
"I'm in LA," He said nonchalantly, hearing his name be called by the intoxicated voice of his best friend and agent. He plugged his finger in his ear, flipped off Josh, and sighed, again.
Waited for the pain, the hurt. Nothing.
"Well, you can either have the belongings mailed to you at your expense or we can throw them out. But if you chose the latter we'd need you to fax your permission for us to throw it out."
Another sigh, accompanied by a roll of eyes. Josh's voice was getting louder as he approached him, swaying drunkenly.
"Just charge me," He hurried, lighting another cigarette and taking a drag. He muttered his address, gave credit card information as he tried to balance his cigarette and wallet and phone, and finally hung up.
A hand clamped on his shoulder.
"What's up, fuck face?" Josh slurred as Mark slid his cell phone into his pocket. Mark rolled his eyes, took a deep drag and exhaled, closing his eyes as the smoke floated in front of him. He knew Josh's question was nosiness, not concern.
"It was Sinai over in New York. Someone I used to be friends with died," Stone cold, dead serious. Another roll of blue eyes, a shrug, "I dunno."
"Oh shit man, sorry," Joshua's sympathy wasn't very real, but that was okay. Everything here was fake. The smiles, the sympathy, the girls. It's what LA was all about, and over the years Mark had found comfort in it.
"Yeah, it's alright." Another shrug, another lit cigarette.
"Do you wanna go back in now?" Joshua gestured to the nightclub behind them. Mark nodded and followed Josh back into the dark, shadowy club, where the women looked mysterious and the men looked sexy. Under normal conditions, normal lighting, Mark knew that these people were probably flawed, destroyed, bags under their eyes, crows feet, tired looking, dirty. But here they seemed perfect.
Joshua's hand found his shoulder and Mark followed him into the bathroom where several of his co workers were doing everything but using the toilets or urinals- coke, sex, drugs.
The place reeked of it.
Without a hesitation, Mark took the straw offered and snorted a line, coughing as the drug intoxicated him further. To his left, Joshua was taking a needle into his arm and to his right, his boss was fucking some anorexic looking chick right in front of the whole bathroom.
Welcome to LA, motherfuckers.
He still tried to care about Roger, he struggled to cry. Through his intoxicated haze, he dragged up memories of the days when he was weak, when he cried at the drop of a hat. He pulled his sleeve up and saw the scar on his forearm from when Roger was going through withdrawal and had pushed him just too hard. Remembered the loss, the cries, the stark white of the hospital walls, the loss of Collins, Angel's dancing, Roger's guitar.
No tears, no nothing.
He leaned up against the sink and watched the people around him.
LA was an escape, a faux world of happiness. Easy to hide in his work, easy to hide in this world.
He had left New York in a fit of rage. Slammed the door behind him and didn't look back. Didn't listen to Mimi's cries - "Mark, come back, he didn't mean it, he didn't… he loves you, Mark -"
Roger was dead, and so was the grudge he'd held on his former best friend.
Feel sad, feel something, feel anything.
"This shit is like magic, eh?" Joshua came up behind him again, a new glaze shining over the brown eyes.
Mark struggled, met his eyes with Joshua's in the mirror, nodded.
Unfazed, no pain, nothing. Drugs, drugs, intoxication, fake smiles, lies. This is what Mark had escaped to.
"You got anymore smack?" He asked Joshua, who looked surprised.
"Sure, but I thought you hated that stuff -" And Joshua was right. Mark had done coke, done pot, had even tried some X at one point. But smack? Too many bad memories.
"I got over it." He snapped, but Joshua was already pulling the spoon and the baggie out of his pocket. Clean needle, fresh out of the vacuum sealed plastic. Smack was a dirty drug, looked down on by the Hollywood elite. Coke, X, pot was much more glorious, glamorous. Joshua liked being the outcast a bit, liked being too cool for even that. Smack was Joshua's specialty, Joshua's treat, he was one of the few that could do it and not be looked down on for it.
Joshua tied the rubber band around his arm, helped him find a vein. Even slipped the needle into his arm for him, helped him inject the fluid into his veins.
Mark's eyes fluttered shut in pain, in the uncomfortable feeling of the needle in his arm.
He couldn't feel sad for Roger, couldn't feel anything, so he had to honor his ex best friend another way.
The needle emptied it's contents into his arm and Joshua pulled it out.
Mark's eyes met his own in the mirror.
"Goodbye, Roger." He said softly, then looked over at the new tiny pin-like mark on his arm.
In memory of Roger Davis, the man who'd changed his life so much, the man who turned him into this, the man he couldn't cry for or care for anymore. The man part of him still loved so deeply.
In honor of Roger Davis.